Robert Traill.

The Works of the late Reverend Robert Traill, A.M., minister of the gospel in London (Volume 3) online

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BX-9i-^i^».4^?4-a- ft4 1 7 75 v. 3 u. l
Traill, Robert, 1642-1716
The Works of the late
Reverend Robert Traill, A.M.





The late Reverend


Mlnifter of the Gofpel in London.



The Stedfast Adherence to the Profession of our
Faith recommended in twenty-one Sermons on Heb.
X, 20, 21, 22,23, 24.


Printed and Sold by JOHN BR YCE, at his Shop,
oppcfue Gibfon's-wynd, Salt-market.

M D c c L X X V.



rH E fithje^s treated upon in thefe fermonSy have beeri a]-
luays ejteemed by well-grounded ChrijlicinSf to have the
greatejl influence both vpon cur duty and comfort.

The promifes of God, are the jnatter of our faith, and
ground of our hope. Faiih in thefe precious promifes y is that
grace -which conveys tons our inter eji intheniy anddv2iVfs, forth
the ftrength andfcjeetnefs of them.

An honeft open profedion of that faith, not only in wcrds,
or inflitiiied folemnities of public ivorfljipy tut in all holy con-
verfation and godlinefsy is the diftinguiihing maik oj^ the
churches of Chrift in the luorLL

Jnd a fteady adherence to that prsfefjion in times of temp'^
tation and great bachflidingy is the believers unqueCrionabie
duty, intereft, and honour.

Thefe great poiiits of fpiritual and pra^ical religion, yoii
have here opened and urgedy with that plainnefsy gravity ^ and
good judgment i by which the late Reverend Mr Traill ha^
been well known in his former evangelical difcourfes. . If any
thing here fiall feem lefs cor re Ely it will eafily be imputed to
the ufual difadvantagcs of p oft humous produtlions.

But furcly great candour and tendernefs will be thought due
iofuch orphans y as are turned out into the world, de/iitut;: of
thofe improvements, which they might have received from the
care and cukivation of their worthy parents, if they had n:t
been by death deprived of them.

In compliance with feme of the author* s particular friends^
who were defrous to have thefe fet mens made public, we would
recommend them to the perufal of aHfuch as are ''defirous to live
more by fai.h upon the promifes cf God, and to bejufl and true
to their holy profeffion. That the. God of all grace would make
them effe^uai to thefe good purpofes, is the earncfi prayer op

Their Servants for Jefus fake,

Will. ToNGUEo
John Nesbit.
M4TT. Clark.

A LETTER from ttie late Rev. Mr. JAMES
H E R V E y, to a Relation of the Author of the
following Treatife.

S I R,

1 Received your very valuable and no lefs acceptable pre-
fent, fome weeks ago. I fhould have acknowledged the
favour fooner ; but I chofe to ftay till I had tafted the diih
you had let before nie. And indeed I find it to be favour/
meat, the true manna ; food for the foul.

Your worthy relative was a .workman that need not be
afhamed. He knew how, clearly to ftate and folidly to e-
ilabllQi the faith of God's dc6\:, and the doctrine accord-
ing to godlinefs. O ! that my heart, and the heart of

every reader, may be opened by the eternal Spirit, to re-
ceive the precious truths !

The letter at the end of the firft volume, is a judicious
performance. It rightly divides the word of truth, and
lays the line, with a maiierly hand between the prefumptu-
ous Legalifi-, and the licentious Antinomian. 1 am par-
ticularly pleafed with the honourable teftimony bore to thofe
two excellent books, Dr Owen's treatife on juflification, and
Mr Marfhali's gofpel-myflery of fan£}:ification : Books fit
to be recommended by fo good a judge !

If the Lord pleafes to give Theron and Afpafio any ac-
ceptance in Scotland, I fiiail be fincerely glad ; but if he
vouchfafes to make them, not only welcome, but ufcful vi-

litants, I fhall exceedingly rejoice. In cafe you fhould

think them calculated to promote the honour and further
the gofpel of JESUS CHRIST, I hope you will fa-
vour them with your recommendation, and accompany
them with your prayers j which will be a frefli inftancc of
kindnefs to,

S I R^

Tour obliged friend,

July 8th, 1755. 5 and obcdieiit Servant ,






Recommended in fcveral SERMONS.


Hebrev/s X. 23.

Let us holdfafl the profeffton of our faith without wa-^
vering^ Sec,

HAVING infideJ at fo great length upon
the firfl exhortation of the apoftle, concern-
ing drawing near to God, which is built u-
pon the foundations of the Chriflian privileges, that
the apollle named, and that we have fpoke of, from
the 19th, 20th, and 2i{tverfes; thofe exhortations
that remain are deduced from the fame foundation :
wherefore I thought fit not to let them pafs. The
former exhortation was unto a duty with refpefl to
God, drawing near to him, which the apoftle requires
to be performed in fuch a manner, that all Chriltians,
and the beft of them, mufl: be learning to anfwer e-
very day in their life, that they may come up more
and more thereunto.


2 The Jhdfaj} Adherence to Serm. y^

The other two exhoi cations are with refpefl: to our-
felves antl orners. The firl^ is the 23d verfe, with
rerpe<n: to our own protelilDn ; the other, in the 24th
verfe, h with refped to our brethren and fellow-

The firfl: of thefe exhortations, which is contained
in this 23d verfe, plainly divides itfelf into the duty
exhorted to, and the argument to enforce it. The
duty is, Let us hold fajl the profeffion of our faith with-
out UJavering, The argument to this duty is a ftrong
and a proper one. He is faithful that hath promifed.
Our faith iliould always be built on God's promife ;
it is not the right faith if it be not fo ; and «ur faith
on the proraife (houid anfwer the faithfulnefs of the
proaiifer ; the ftrength of our believing the promife,
ihould bear iomt proportion to the great faithfulnefs
of rhe rniiker of it. Now, it is evident, that the a-
pcftie's argument is both pertinent and ftrong : Let
us bold f aft the trofejfion of our faith without zvaveringy
for God the piomifcr does not waver in what he has

I fnall begin with the firft of thefe at this time, the
duty he cohorts to. And you may fee here, as I ob-
served from the former exhortations, that the apoille,
the penman of this blclTed portion of fcripture, puts
:n hinifelf in this exhortation; Let us^ fays he, d(aw
7\car^ ike. And let us hold f aft the prof ejjion of our faith
without wavering.

In this duty exhorted to, there are three things to
be confidered,

1. What that is which i?,. as it were, the fubje^^-
m?4rter of this duty ; and that is, the profejfion of our
faith ; fo we tranilate it. The words in the Greek,
in the original, are certainly the confcffion of our hope.
What reafou there hath been in the learned traniia-
tors for akering ir, 1 do not know. However, it is
no great matter ; for profelTion and confelTion, faith
and hope, are clofely kait together; they are but
ic^vercd words cxprciling the lame thing. Confeffioti


Serm. I. the Profejion of our Fa'ilb, 3

and profejficn are frequently named one for anoilierj
zndi faith and hope are frequently named one for a-
nother in the word of God.

1. Thc/ecotid thing is the a^, that the apoftle craves
about this profefTion, and we read it, Let us hold it
faft. As if the apoftle had faid, Th? profciriOD of
your fiiith is very precious, keep it well ; it will be
attempted upon by your fpiritual enemies, and they
will be endeavouring to pluck it from you ; hold it
fad, keep it firm.

3. There is the manner of this duty the apoflle
craves about your proFeflioii : HoIdHfafty fays he, -
without waverings without declining, without taroing
it to the one hand or to the other, but holding h
fleady and even. Thefe are the heads that 1 v/ouid
difccurfe upon from this text.

And to begin with the Jirji of thefe, that are m
the duty itfelf exhorted to, the frofejfion of cur fanh^
the apoflle, you fee here, plainly fignifies,' that it was
made already, it was that they had ; they bad pro-
feiTion formerly. Now, fays the apofile, let us lycld
faft this profejion of our faith. This is^ the fubjet?-
matter of the exhortation, the prcfelTioa of faith.
And to make the way yet plainer, unio what I would
obferve and difcourfe from it, I would fpeak a Utile
to the opening of thefe two.

1. What is in this fait h^ that is the ?natter cf this

2. What is in the profejfion of our faith, cr cf this
hope y which is as the form of it.

I. What is in this faith or hope. There is none
can underftand what it is to hold fad faith and hope,
till they know what faith and hope is.

Fir ft. For faith and hope, for I would ftilit^lie
them in both together, and fliew, as we go along,
the very fmall difference that i^ betwixt them; we
~ {ivAfaith/m the word of Qodi^ taken for the doclrine
of faith, for the truth of Gcd. that is tobe received,
taken up, apd embraced by fai?h : Do u-e mah Tuid

4 The Jledfajl Adherence to Serm. I.

ihe law through faith ? fays the apoftle. God forbid^
yea^ we ejlahlijh the law^ Rom. iii. 31. where the
meaning plainly is. Do we make void the law by this
<]o£^rine of faith ? No ; by no means, God forbid.
Divine truth is neceilarily fuppofed to be the ground
of all divine faith ; if there were not fuch a thing go-
ing before, as Thus faith the Lord, no amen of faith
could ever follow.

Secondly y In the confidering of that faith that we
make the profeffion of, we raufl conGder that God
that it is to be believed on. Faith natively, faith ul-
timately, terminates on God : That your faith and
hope might be in God^ 1 Peter i. 21. where he joins
them both together. There can be no believing where
God is unknown, there is no believing in an unknown
God. God cannot be known as the obje<^ of faith,
but only as in Chrift Jefus. It is irapoffible that God
can be grafped, may 1 fo fpeak, by the faith of a poor
fmner, but only as this God reveals himfelf to us in
Ghrift Jefus. There is no approaching to God by
believing immediately : but by him we believe in God^
who raifed him from the dead^ and gave him glory ^ that
your faith and hope might be in God, There is divine
f'aithfulnefs for the ground of our faitb ; there is God
himfelf in Chrift Jems for the objeiSi of our faith.

Thirdly y In faith there is always an outgoing of the
foul in defire and expeftation of fome good from him.
This is believing, this is hoping. Now, this is infe-
parable from the former. Where-ever divine truth
is divinely believed to be true, and God in Chrift is
embraced by the faith of a poor creature, this is un-
avoidable ; immediately there fprings fome expedla-
tion and hope of getting good from him, and that is
believing. All the difference betwixt faith and hope
is this, that faith goes firft unto God in Chrift, on the
ground of the promife for good ; and hope goes forth
to the fame God, upon the fame ground, in the ex-,
pe^aiion of that good ;hat is believed. This is not

Serm. I. the VrofeJJion cf our Faith. 5

fo di(liri6t;iy owned by every believer ; for there are
fome that have true faith in them, who, through the
wealvDcfs of their faith, and manifold temptations,
nip the expectations of faith from buddiDg. But this
is a violence done thereto. Where-ever a poor fm-
ner hath taken the warrant of God's promife, and has
fealed it with the poor weak amen of his faith, that
this is true, and he is faithful that hath fpoken it;
how can he forbear lO add, And therefore t'aere will
be a fulfilment, when the good word that is fpoken
will be accompiiihed, when the good thing fpoken of
will be given I The apoftie Paul fpeaking of his o^^n
faith, gives it two fpccial words, Phil. i. 20. Accord-
ing to my earnejl expsSiation and my hope^ (he made
no doubr, but all things would do well wi^h him),
that in nothing I fljall be afl:amed, but that ivith all
boldnefs^ as always^ fo now alfo Chrift JImll be marni^
f.ed in my body^ whether it be by life or by death. The
word there, earnejl expe^ation, is the fame word ia
the original and our tranilation, with that which is
ufed of the expectation of the whole creation towards
the day of the glorious liberty of the fons of God.
It is an exprelTion borrowed from an intent looking
out as it were, and (Iretching forth of the neck, ia
looking to fee a friend coaiing, that will be very wel-
come when he comes. This is faith, div ne truth
known, God in Chrift received, grafpod, laid hold of
by faith ; expedations raifed thereupon, that the good
will come unto us. Though many poor believers do
not own their expe(n:ations, yet fuch exptCl^tions ire
there, and do difcover themfelves fufficiencly.

11. The fecond thing is. What is this pro/ejJI^n of
faith f Certainly, profefTion and confelTion is a de-
claring of this expedatioa I have been fpeaking cf ;
it is a public declaring it one way or other. The a-
poftle fpeaks of fuch kind of confeffion and profelTion,
Heb. xi. 13. They confejjed that they were Jl rangers
and pilgrims on the earth ; they made an open public

B pro-

6 'The Stcdfaft Adherence to Serm. I.

profefliort cf it. Profellion of faiih is made two ways ;
it is made either by word, or by deed.

Firft^ Profellion is made with words. This the a^
podle does exprcfly limit to the tongue, Rom. x. 9, zo.
Ifthsufialt conjefs ivitb thy fnouf b [ihc fame word
with profellion here in ray text) the Lord Jefus^ and
f<?alt believe in thine hearty that God hath raffed him
from the dead^ thou /halt be faved. For zvith the heart
?nan believeth unto righteoufnefs^ and with the mouth
ccnfejffion is made unto falvation, Confefiioa or puo-
feilion by word is made feveral ways.

1. It is m>ade nnto God in prayer. AH our pray-
ers, and a!! our callings on the nam,e of the Lord, are
a confeffion : all that w^e fay ro him is a profelTion of
eur fairh. O my foul ^ thou haft f aid unto the Lord ^
Jhou art my God. What great matter is that ? Yes,
it was a great word, that David's foul could fay to the
Lord, Thou art my God. There is a duty lying upon
Cbriftians to profefs their faith ua^o the Lord, to a-
vow it before him. Our Lord will have a poor man
do fo. D?ft thcu believe on the Son of God f Why,
was Chrifl ignorant whether he believed or no? No;
he that was the Son of God knew whether the blind
man had faith or no ; bur our Lord will have it out of
his own mouth j he will have him profefs it, and avow
it : as accordingly he did. Lord I believe. And he
ivorfhipped hi?n,

2, Profeffion i^- made by the tongue. In that fpe-
cial cafe of confc;frion, when gofpel- truth is oppoicd,
when i,t is made the (late of fuffering,, then it is that
confeilion i3 fpecially culled for, it is with refpedl to
this that our. Lord*y fevere word is, ?»iatth. x. 32, 33,
Whofoever fball covfefi me hsfare men^ him wili I confefs
alfo before my Father which is in hcljven. But whofo-
ever /ball deny me before men, him zvill I alfo deny be-
fore my Father vohich is in heaven.

Secondly^ The profeilion of our faiih is made by
deed. A man that cannot fpeak may make a profef-
fioa of his faith. He canDot make ii by wordf^^, but


Serm. L the Frofeffion of our Faith, 7

he may make it otherwife ; I acknowledge not ^o eafy*
lor che tongue is man's glory.

1. The outward attending on the means of grace
is a profcilion of faith. V\'^hoever they be that give
but their bodily prefence unto prayer and preaching
of the word of God, and other indituticns of Chrift'^
appointment, they pro'fefs their faith of the gofpel.
A great many are liars in fo faying; for they profefs
what they have nor, and God will judge them accor-
dingly. There is more need to be afraid, than peo-
ple commonly are aware of. It is the moit dangerous
employment that an unbeliever can be taken up in,
to make a iecure attendance on the means of faith,
when the man knows in his own heart, that he nei-
ther haih fait>), nor would have it.

2. People may and fhould make a profeiiion of their
faith in their converfations in xiiOT families. This is
one part of Chriftian prcfeiTion, that every one thai:
has a family, that he is mailer or die is midrefs of,
are obliged to make profeiTion of their faiih there.
The Chiiilian conduct of a family is a very honourable
Way of profeffing faiih. / will behave myfclf ivifely^
fays David, in a perfect way : O when wiU thou come
unto mefl will walk %mthin my hcufc with a perfecl
hearty Pialm ci. 2. Several good words he fpeaks
there of his purpofe of owning of God, and declaring
his refpeti- to him, by his condu<fi: in his family.

3. People make a profefhon of their faith by join-
ing to and embodying themfelves' with the cliurcii of
*Cart(l. If there were no more but twenty believers
in a city, I am perfaaded that wiihin a little time i\\tiz
twenty believers w^ould quickly fcrape up acquaintance
one with another, and would unite tiiemfelves in the
profeiiion of their faith. Shall we receive faith, this
great gift, and the honour of fo near a relation to
God and Chrift Jefus as faith brings us to, and (hall
we not own it ? It is remarkable the apodle takes
aciice of this, 2 Cor. ix. 13. Ihey glorify God^ fays
he, for your prcfejled fub'iedion unto the /cfpd of Chrijh

" " Y^i The

8 • The Jledfaft Adherence to Serm. I.

The word in the Greek is more emphatlcal ; it \s for
the fuhjeci'ton cr (looping of y cur prof cjf ion to the gofpel
of Chnft^ and your acknowledgment of it. Pray
what great fubjciftion is there here? Is it fo low a
ftooping for a man to make profeiTion of his faith,
that it mud be called a (looping ? Is it any wonder
that the apoflle called it ftooping to be fubjefi: to the
gofpel, when he fays, Rom. x. 3. that the proud
ielf-jurticiary will not fubmit to the righteoufnefs of
God ? And it is*the fame word with fubjeflion in the
other place.

4. People make a profeiEon of their faith by an
holy converfation. A walk as it becometh the gofpel,
is a profeiTion of our faith, an outward confeffiou of
ir. Ail manner of godly converfation^ and the ador-
ning of the gofpel cf God our Saviour in all things,
is what is required even of fervants, Ticus ii. 10. But,
izy you, what, will the gofpel be adorned, is there
an ornament added as it were to the gofpel, by the
faithfulnefs and obedience of a poor mean fervant ?
Yes, fays the Spirit of God, you are to adorn the
do£lrine of Qo^ our Saviour in all things. We find
it ioftnK^ed in feveral very like things. There is the
giving of charity to the relief of the faints : That is,
fays the apoflle, by the experiment of this mitiiflrationy
they glorify God for your projefjed juhjetiion unto the
gofpel of Chrif} : and yen prove your fubje^lion by
your liberal diflribution fo your poor brethren. Nay,
to bring the matter yet lower, and I cannot bring it
much lower, and that is even in womens apparel :
fays the apoflle, i Tim. ii. 9. Likewife lei women a-
dorn themfekes^ not with hroidered hair^ or gold^ or
fearls, or coflly array^ hut (whhh becometh women
frofejfing godlinefs) with good works. Let the orna-
ment of a Chriftian that feeks to adorn the gofpel be
good works, rather than the vanities of this world,
that are utterly unbecoming the gofpel ; that the gof-
pel never taught, and that it frequently rebukes ; for


Serm. I. the FrofeJJton of our Faith. 9

thefe vanities always bring reproach upon it, and u-
pon mens profeffion too.

5. The laft profeffion of our faith is the laft thing
we can do ; that is, dying in faith. After profeffion,
and adorning our profeffion all manner of ways, as
long as we live, in due time, when God calls us we
are to m.ake profeffion of our faith in dying. There
is a dying faith, as the apoftle fays of the old tefta-
ment faints, Heb. xi. 13. Thefe all died in faith. They
confeffijd thcmfelves, all their life long, to be ftrangers
and pilgrims on the earth ; and in the fame faith that
they profeffiid that they v/ere ftrangers and pilgrims
on the earth, in the fame faith they died, and went
to heaven. This is the noblefl of all; and if it be
Dot only dying in faith, but dying for the faith, it i§
fo much the more amiable. The time of my departure
is at hafidy fays the apoftle, 2 Tim. iv. 6, 7. / have
fought a good fight ^ I have finifhed my courfe^ I have
kept the faith. Well, had he no more to do with
faith ? No, but one bit. Henceforth is laid up for
me a crown of right eoufnefs^ See, 1 will die in the ex-
peflation of the crown, 1 will have no more to do with
faith. So Stephen, the firft confeffiDr, the firft pro-
feffiDr of faith by his blood, A6ls vii. 59. And they
floned K^tephen^ calling upon the Lord, and faying^ Lord
Jefus^ receive my fpirit. " 1 have confeffisd thy name
'* before thefe enemies, and they are driving this foul
*« of mine out of my body ; now. Lord, receive i: ;
*« I have believed on thee, I fuffer for thy fake, 1
*' commit this expelled foul unto thy care and con-
*' du£l; Lord J ejus y receive my fpir it P

So much now for the explaining the matter of faith
and profeffion. The truth that 1 would fpeak a little
to, is this.

D o c T. That whoever they be that have Chrijlian
faith and hope in them^ Jhould make a Chriflian ccn-
fejjion or profeffion of it^


ic The jlcdfafl Adherence to Serm. I.

It is implied in my text, that a profeffion of their
faith, or a confefTion of their hope, was made, and,
the apoftl^ exhorts them' about the keeping of it. It
is Dot, Let us therefore make profeflioD, we have
done that ah'eady ; but, Let us hold it fad. When
we fir 11 gave our name to the Lord, when we firft left
ihc Jewiih religion, or Paganifh idolatry, and turned
to the true and livinj^ God and his Son Chrift Jefus,
we then made profeiTion ; now let us hold it fall:.

lie lies to God and to the world, that makes profef-
fion of faith, when he hath it not ; he diflembles with
God and the w^orld, that has it, and does not profefs
it. We fmd much fpoken of this profeffion in the
word: Heb. iv. 14. Let us hold f aft cur prof ejjion ; a
word much to the fame purpofe with this. This I
thought to have coiifirmed in a few thing?, and fo
have made fome application. I {hall only give a few
at this time of the grounds upon which this truth
ftands, That all that have Chriftian faith (hould make
a Chriftian profeffion of it.

Firf}^ The honour of Chrift calls for it, Chrid's.
glory and honour. The truth of grace does mod im-
mediately tend unto the falvation of a fmner; but the
profeffion of grace tends mod immediately to the prsifc
of Chrid Jefus. Now remember what fevere words
I named already : Whofoever fhall be afhamed of me^
and of ?ny words ^ fays our Lord, in this adulterous and
finfv.l generation^ of him alfofJyall the Son of man be
cjhamed when he ccmeth in the glory of his Father^
"With the holy angels^ Mark viii. 38. The glory of
our Lord Jefus Chrid is promoted by our profeffing
of him. Do you think that Jefus Chrid, and his fav-
iog triub, and his gracious work upon the heart, are
matters to be adiamed of? Is it not a great fm when-
ever this is committed ?

Secondly^ The good of others calls for this. The
truth of faith is prolirable to us ; the profeffion of
faith is proiitable to others. Were it poffible that all
the %Q'^\Y could kerp in all their grace, that none


SERxNf. I. the FrofeJJion of our Faiths ir

in the world could fee it but God and ihcmrelyes.
Done in all the world would be a whit the better For
it. It is the difplaying oF grace and oFthe faith that
God has given, that is the great means of promoting
the reputation of the gofpel, and convincing of the
world : Therefore, fays our Lord, let your light fo
Jhtne before men that they may fee your good works, and
glorify your Father which is in heaven^ Matth, v., i6.
In the very next chapter our Lord feverely iiiveigh^
againfl: the Pharifees', that managed their religious
worfliip with a defign only to be feen of men : that
was all they craved, and their hypocrify was difco-
vered thereby. But our Lord himfelf craves this of
his people, that their light (honld not only fo (bine as
to dirc£l their own ways, but fo (iiine ihar others
might fee it, and be provoked thereby to gioriry their
Father which is jn heaven. The apollle Peter fpeaks
of a cafe, I am afraid the mean h feldom- tried, and\
therefore it is no wonder that the eifecl is feldom
found. The naean is a Ghridian'' converfation, the
effect is converfion. It is the convcrfation of the wife
for the gaining of the husband. Now, the apoflle
craves this, and hints a prcmife. for it. You would

Online LibraryRobert TraillThe Works of the late Reverend Robert Traill, A.M., minister of the gospel in London (Volume 3) → online text (page 1 of 29)